Curious Mars
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Mars: March 2013



Opportunity Moves Into Place for Quiet Period of Operations - sols 3255-3260, Mar. 21, 2013-Mar. 26, 2013: This location, called 'Big Nickel,' is the last in-situ (contact) target before the rover departs from Cape York, once solar conjunction is concluded.


The discovery of box-like geologic structures on Mount Sharp centered in Curiosity's Gale crater landing site, is raising interest for rover exploration as potentially habitable for past life on Mars.


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has resumed science investigations after recovery from a computer glitch that prompted the engineers to switch the rover to a redundant main computer on Feb. 28. The rover has been monitoring the weather since March 21 and delivered a new portion of powdered-rock sample for laboratory analysis on March 23, among other activities.


From NASA ScienceCast: "A comet is heading for Mars, and there is a chance that it might hit the Red Planet in October 2014. An impact wouldn't necessarily mean the end of NASA's Mars program. But it would transform the program along with Mars itself."


Restarting science operations after 3 weeks of computer problems, the Mars rover Curiosity will be using its robotic arm and the Goddard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory to process a triple-dose of drilled subsurface rock in a more intense search for organic carbon before April 4, when Mars will move behind the Sun blocking communications until May 1.


The positions of the planets next month will mean diminished communications between Earth and NASA's spacecraft at Mars.


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is expected to resume science investigations in a few days, as engineers quickly diagnosed a software issue that prompted the rover to put itself into a precautionary standby status over the weekend.


Scientific confirmation that the NASA Mars rover Curiosity has found a location habitable to Martian microbial life 3 billion years ago is an historic milestone in planetary exploration.


ESA and the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, have signed a formal agreement to work in partnership on the ExoMars programme towards the launch of two missions in 2016 and 2018.


By Mike Loucks, John Carrico and Dennis Tito: Dennis Wingo provided some comments for us in his article Inspiration Mars: Some Thoughts About Their Plan. Dennis Wingo is a friend of ours. We welcome input from any source, especially visionaries like Dennis.


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity continues to move forward with assessment and recovery from a memory glitch that affected the rover's A-side computer. Curiosity has two computers that are redundant of one another. The rover is currently operating using the B-side computer, which is operating as expected.


Sols 3234-3240, Feb. 27, 2013-Mar. 05, 2013: Opportunity is exploring different locations around the inboard edge of 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.


An analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA's Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes.


The latest trajectory of comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) generated by the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., indicates the comet will pass within 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) of Mars and there is a strong possibility that it might pass much closer.


Scientists with the $2.5 billion Mars rover Curiosity will reveal potentially historic discoveries about Mars next week in Washington D. C.


Phillips & Company, a global communications firm, and Explore Mars, a non-profit corporation committed to advancing the cause for human exploration of Mars, today released findings and full analysis of a nationwide survey of U.S. citizens that focused on their opinions about the exploration of Mars.